In the top right hand of Western Australia is El Questro a magnificent cattle station and tourist park that can simply overwhelm the senses.
Large cattle stations are reasonably common in this part of the world, in Australia’s Top End, but El Questro is adorned with some of the most magnificent landscapes you will find anywhere.
Measuring 80 km north to south and 60 km east to west, El Questro is big enough to be the world’s 29th smallest country. Scenically, it is far more impressive than most of those countries it dwarfs.
The reason for that is that it is home to many very impressive gorges, rivers, creeks, waterfalls, thermal springs and an abundance of Australian tropical flora and fauna, much of which can’t be seen elsewhere.
As an example, when you join the Chamberlain Gorge cruise, which gently floats along a 3 kilometre-long freshwater pool that is guarded on both sides by towering cliffs if you look high above it is often possible to see the reclusive rock wallabies sitting on narrow ledges as they gaze back at you.
Towards the end of the gorge, they cut the engines, you are offered a refreshment, often a local Ord Valley wine as you gaze into the clear waters to see barramundi and the amazing archerfish, which catch insects by spitting at them. If they see you peering at them, they’ll spit at you, and they never miss.
There are other gorges that require a hike to best experience them.
El Questro Gorge is one of these. You do have to be reasonably fit to clamber up some rocks and negotiate a couple of narrow ledges, but the waterfall and pool at the end of the hike is a refreshing reward at the end of your trek.
My favourite gorge is Emma Gorge, which ends at a waterfall that plunges into a large, cool pool. After a reasonable walk uphill in the Kimberley heat, it is just so refreshing to a enjoy wonderful swim in such a pristine environment that has not changed in millions of years.
The Kimberley is my favourite part of Australia as it is so utterly wild and spectacular.
El Questro has a variety of accommodations. Starting with the luxury of the Homestead, which is perched on a hilltop overlooking Chamberlain Gorge. The Station is located next to the Pentecost River near the Swinging Arm Pub, and close to the camping grounds. At Emma Gorge, you can enjoy glamping in a glorious location.
When visiting the East Kimberley, a stay at El Questro is something you will never regret, a way to thoroughly enjoy the grandeur of some of Earth’s greatest untouched landscapes.